Knights Knotes — August 22
KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (58-76) return home tonight to BB&T Ballpark to open a four-game series with the Norfolk Tides (61-71) tonight at 7:05 PM. Charlotte is down to their final 10 games of the season with all of the games to be played against two IL South Division teams (four with Gwinnett, and six with Norfolk). Charlotte enters play having lost eight of their last 10 games and are currently on a three-game losing streak.
ABOUT LAST KNIGHT: Former Knights hurler Zach Stewart (6-4, 4.94) tossed six innings, and the Gwinnett Braves used the long ball twice en route to a 10-6 win over the Charlotte Knights on Thursday in the finale of their two-game series from Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA. A night after losing to 2012 Charlotte Knights pitcher Terry Doyle, Stewart also held on to beat his former team. As a member of the Charlotte Knights, Stewart won the final game at Knights Stadium on September 2, 2013. On Thursday, he pitched into the seventh inning and allowed just two runs over his first six innings of work. In the seventh, Stewart and the G-Braves had an 8-2 lead over the Knights, but the former Knights right-hander failed to get an out. Stewart allowed a leadoff single to Miguel Gonzalez and then an RBI triple to Josh Richmond. The Knights continued their comeback and got a two-run home from Jared Mitchell, which made it an 8-4 game. The two-run homer knocked Stewart out of the game. The Knights added just one more run along the way. Stewart gave up five runs on 10 hits over six innings, but was still able to notch the victory.
KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Bobby Doran (4-1, 6.03) will make his eighth start of the season with the Knights tonight. Doran won his first two starts with the Knights and has won his last two decisions (three games). Doran made his Charlotte debut on July 13 against the Syracuse Chiefs at BB&T Ballpark (5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO). A native of Oklahoma City, OK, Doran was acquired from the Houston organization on July 11 and was pitching for the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Triple-A) at the time of the trade. In 21 games (nine starts) with the RedHawks, Doran was 2-4 with a 5.36 ERA (80.2 IP, 94 H, 52 R, 48 ER, 29 BB, 41 SO). He was originally drafted by the Astros in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of Texas Tech University. He attended Flower Mound, TX High. In five Minor League seasons, Doran owns a 36-21 mark with a 4.90 ERA over 122 games (91 starts).
SANCHEZ PROMOTED: Carlos Sanchez, who hit .293 (128-for-437) with the Charlotte Knights in 110 games this season, was recalled to Chicago today to take the roster spot of second baseman Gordon Beckham, who was traded to the LA Angels yesterday for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Today’s promotion to Chicago is the second of the season for Sanchez. He was promoted to Chicago on July 13 and made his Major League debut with the White Sox later that day in Cleveland. He was optioned back to the Knights on July 19 after appearing in just one game (0-for-5). Overall this season, Sanchez has a .293 batting average with 60 runs scored, 19 doubles, six triples, seven home runs, 57 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases with the Knights in 110 games played. He leads the Knights in triples and stolen bases and his 128 hits are second on the Knights, while his 60 runs scored are third.
CONCORD NATIVE COMES TO CHARLOTTE: Taking the roster spot of Sanchez in Charlotte is infielder Dan Wagner, who was promoted to the Knights today from Double-A Birmingham. Wagner, a native of Concord, NC, is a 2006 graduate of South Rowan High School in Landis, NC. In 80 games with the Barons this season, Wagner hit .203 (51-for-251) with 24 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 21 RBIs, and six stolen bases. He spent the entire 2013 campaign in Birmingham and hit .274 (81-for-296) with 33 runs scored, nine doubles, one home run, 23 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases. Originally selected by the White Sox in the 16th round of the 2009 draft, Wagner, 26, made his professional debut in 2009 and hit .264 (68-for-258) in 67 games between Advanced Rookie Bristol and Single-A Kannapolis. A year later, he led all Sox farmhands in stolen bases with 37 and ranked ninth in the South Atlantic League. He was named to the SAL midseason All-Star Team that season.
IT CAN ONLY BE JARED: Jared Mitchell extended his hit-streak to six games last night with another three-hit performance – his third during the hit-streak and fourth multi-hit game. Mitchell, who now has 24 hits since returning from Birmingham (AA) in 18 games, is now hitting .312 (24-for-777) with 10 runs, four doubles, one triple, three home runs, and 12 RBIs. Overall this season, between both Birmingham and Charlotte, Mitchell is hitting .262 with 18 home runs and 46 RBIs. He has eight homers with Charlotte and 10 with Birmingham.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Charlotte leads the IL in homers (163), runs scored (661), total bases (1981), RBIs (621), and slugging % (.440).
THE MIGHTY WILKINS: Andy Wilkins recorded his 138th hit on Thursday – surpassing his season-high of 137 set back in 2011 with Winston-Salem (A+). He is hitting .297 (138-for-465) with 77 runs scored, 36 doubles, one triple, 29 home runs, and 83 RBIs in 120 games with the Knights. He leads the IL in home runs (29), RBIs (83), total bases (263), and extra-base hits (66). He is second in doubles (36) and slugging percentage (.566), third in runs scored (77), and fourth in hits (138). The Charlotte slugger has hit a home run once every 16.03 at-bats, which is second in the IL – behind Mike Hessman.